KICK Camp teaches spiritual lessons with sports

By Derik Vanderford dvanderford@civitasmedia.com

June 19, 2014

UNION — The KICK (Kids In Christ’s Kingdom) Camp combines the spiritual lessons of Vacation Bible School with athletics to give students a new perspective on the word of God.

The camp — sponsored by New Life Baptist Church — began on Monday and will run through Friday at Union County Stadium. The camp is for boys and girls in grades 1-6, and they are able to pick one of four sports on which to focus throughout the week — football, baseball, soccer or cheer leading. After choosing a sport, children participate in three 35-minute sports sessions each day, which are interspersed with 10-minute huddle groups for Bible lessons. The camp also features a halftime rally and closing rally each day. Snacks have been provided this year by the Mon-Aetna Baptist Church daycare facility. There are 200 children signed up for this year’s camp, with about 170 of those participating.

The theme for this year’s KICK Camp is “God’s Game Plan,” and the scripture used is Jeremiah 29: 11-12:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’”

The KICK Camp is led by New Life’s children and youth minister Todd Davis, who is in his fourth year of leading the event.

Davis said the children are taught that God has a plan for each person’s life, and daily lessons use sports to help children relate to scripture. For example, they learn that God’s “game plan” prepares them and puts them “in the game.”

“I think they’re understanding how to relate to the Bible; sports helps them understand it better,” Davis said.

Davis used football as an example, telling children that players have to practice, watch film and be prepared in order to win.

“When God calls on us as Christians, we have to be ready,” Davis said.

Davis said the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt was used when talking about facing life’s opponents.

“It all can tie in to athletics,” Davis said. “We want it to be a time for kids to come out, learn about the sports they like and have fun, but it’s really just a draw to get them to hear God’s word.”